Meet S’poreance who run the business while working full time


The media is full of stories about startups and business owners who left their daily jobs to continue their passions full time. Many Singaporeans, from falconers to founders of technology startups, have decided that leave their comfortable corporate jobs embark on the difficult path of entrepreneurship.

However, a study by researchers Joseph Raffiee and Jie Feng Interestingly, it was found that entrepreneurs who kept their daily jobs had a 33 percent lower chance of failure than those who quit their jobs.

This could be due to the benefits of a balanced “risk portfolio” – a sense of security in one area gives individuals more freedom to be creative and original in other aspects of life, such as their own business ventures.

Many entrepreneurs continue to build successful businesses, despite still having stakes in their permanent positions. Here are a few Singaporean founders who did the same:

1. Ee Chien Chua from Jekyll & Hyde

Ee Chien Chua, owner of Jekyll & Hyde / Image credit: Jekyll & Hyde Jekyll & Hyde

Jekyll & Hyde the award-winning bespoke cocktail bar was founded in 2013.

In 2018, now the owner of Ee Chien Chua ran into the opportunity to take over the operation of the bar, and “accepted the challenge almost impulsively”.

Ee Chien has helped high-growth technology startups like Uber and Grab grow and launch a variety of products and solutions.

The current director of business development and partnership of digital wealth advisors Endowus believed that the local has built a reputation for a unique domestic business and that there is a lot of potential for its further growth.

Since taking over Jekyll & Hyde in 2018, Ee Chien has continued to maintain standards and unique custom cocktail outlets at the bar, and the bar has managed to generate over $ 1 million in revenue.

Ee Chien told the Vulcan Post ua separate interview to wake up every day at 7.30 and ensure that he does his daily job efficiently. After work he helps run the bar.

Looking back on his trip, Ee Chien said he would not advise anyone dreaming of starting their own business to leave a full-time job.

2. Miya Chong of Saltewater Altelier

salt studio miya chong
Miya Chong, founder of Saltewater Atelier / Image credit: Miya Chong / Saltwater Atelier

Saltewater Atelier is a handmade craft soap brand founded by founder Miya Chong.

Miya runs the Saltwater Atelier and handcrafts soaps in tandem with her full-time job for an American cruise company where she does regional business development, marketing and public relations. She is also the mother of three small children.

Miya stumbled upon a soap shop while on a business trip in 2017 and started experimenting with creating her own soap. She later launched an Instagram page (@saltwateratelier) to document their soap creations and share the soap making process.

Just two months after launching her Instagram page, she received an order for her first commissioned work – 200 pieces of wedding soap.

Made in small batches, without two bars that look the same, each bar is incorporated into ingredients that do not contain SLS, parabens, phthalates and preservatives. Soaps are also 100 percent vegan, palm-free, and tested on friends, not animals.

Saltwater Atelier bar soaps cost between $ 12 and $ 18.

Now her goal is to share the beauty of quality handmade soaps and inject art into the daily daily task of showering.

3. Maddy Barber from LUDE

Madly Gems
Maddy Barber, Founder of MADLY / Image Credit: CRAZY

CRAZY is a bespoke jewelry that has received a lot of attention since the brand was founded in 2015.

The brand has been on Tatler’s 10 Best Singapore Jewelers for four years in a row, and also won the Best Goldsmith in Asia award by Luxury Travel Guide for Lifestyle and found itself on TallyPress’s list of the 10 Best Craft Jewelry.

MADLY was founded by radio personality Maddy Barber, who continues to serve as co-host of the breakfast show on local radio station Kiss92 FM.

Maddy tried to create custom jewelry from ordinary jewelers, but realized that they rarely went through the effort to understand the style or personality of their client – nor were they brave enough to try something new.

It then launched MADLY as a brand that offers customers unique custom jewelry that can tell its stories down to the smallest detail.

The brand has a whole range of gems, from the more famous colored gems like sapphires, emeralds and rubies, all the way to future ones like spinel and tsavorite grenades, and even a color-changing gem like Alexandrite.

“CRAZY is more than just creating and selling beautiful jewelry – it’s about making the world a happier and brighter place by what we do and how we communicate with the people and the world around us,” Maddy said in separate interview for Vulcan Post.

4. Mervin Tham, Johnson Ng and Sean Goh from EasyMeat

Easy Meat SG
Co-founders of EasyMeat / Image Credit: Easy Meat

Singaporeans Mervin Tham, Johnson Ng and Sean Goh once craved decadent meat in the middle of the night, but realized they had no chance of buying it.

No restaurant was open at the time, and delivery would take at least a day. Then they had to think about how Singaporeans who crave quick beef repair can be provided with quality beef cuts at any time.

That led to the birth EasyMeat SG – a local startup that uses vending machines that issue Australian beef to Wagya.

There are already a variety of vending machines in Singapore to distribute products from free samples to face masks.

However, Johnson told the Vulcan Post interview that EasyMeat vending machines are the first in Singapore to issue fresh meat. A 200g steak costs $ 25 and a 250g sliced ​​meat shabu shabu will return you for $ 19.

All three co-founders of EasyMeat are launching on top of their permanent business.

5. John Chen, Lee Yue Xia, Paladin Hsu and Selene Ong of Aloha Poke

Aloha Poke
Image credit: Aloha Poke

Singaporeans today are not unfamiliar with poké dishes, thanks to the emergence of various restaurants that serve them to healthcare professionals.

However, Aloha Poké is the first of its kind in Singapore.

The chain’s four founders – John Chen, Lee Yue Xia, Paladin Hsu and Selene Ong – were vacationing in Hawaii in 2014, when they first tasted the most important Hawaiian dish.

Calling the experience “love at first taste,” they spent the rest of the vacation looking for the best poké joints in and around Oahu. Upon returning to Singapore, they tried to find suitable alternatives – but without success.

Then they started experimenting with poker flavors in their own kitchen based on fond memories of their time in Hawaii. They also made poké for each other, for their family and friends, until they believed they got the balance of flavors just right.

Dissatisfied with simply sharing the wonders of poké with loved ones, they decided to start a restaurant and opened their first Aloha Poké outlet along Amoy Street in August 2015.

They now have three outlets in Singapore, and have expanded to Perth in Australia.

In previous interview with the founders in 2017, they shared how each outlet can expect to sell an average of up to 30kg of fish and an average of two bowls of poké per minute during a busy two-hour lunch window a day.

At the time of writing, all four founders were still working full time in the banking industry while running the chain.

There is no fixed formula for success

Starting a business is hard work, and these Singaporeans have managed to create a new brand for themselves while still coordinating their corporate business.

However, there is no definite path to success.

While keeping a day job could give them a greater sense of security when working on new business ideas, leaving a job could mean they can devote more time and effort to their new venture.

Highlight Credit: Jekyll & Hyde / Saltewater Atelier / LUDO / EasyMeat / Aloha Poké

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